Mess of Pandaria

Pandaria: Remix has been out for more than two weeks now and it's been quite a wild ride.

Our initial levelling duo hit level 70 after a little over 19 hours /played. The best personal reference I have for levelling speed is this post from when the husband and I first levelled characters just after the pre-Shadowlands level squish, at which point it took us over 26 hours to get to level 50 (the cap at the time). So our levelling in Remix was indeed sped up, but not by as much as I would've thought, especially considering that I did read all the quest text in BfA, while I'm mostly just skimming it in Pandaria. I'm sure there are people who level much faster than that even in regular retail.

Of course, I figured maybe the real speed levelling was meant to occur with alts, since the cloak with all the stats (including an XP bonus) was meant to be account-wide. This turned out to be somewhat false advertising though, as it doesn't actually work that way. Once you push your first character's cloak past a certain threshold, new alts do start with a bit of a boost, but it's much smaller than your main's numbers and static, so they still have to build up their own cloak from scratch after that. The levelling still goes quite a bit faster the second time around, but still... it was just a little bit disappointing.

The second pair of characters we made was a protection warrior (me) and my husband on a resto shaman. They're level 38 right now, as we're basically just doing a random dungeon every other day or so. Because he had last week off work and (as I mentioned before) always goes all-in on this sort of project, he also levelled a paladin to the cap without me during my work hours.

Happenings in the wider community have been pretty wild. Blizzard nerfed the "froggers" and keeps playing whack-a-mole to nerf new bronze farming spots as they emerge, but it doesn't really seem to matter, because at this point the first no-lifers and professional WoW players have ground out their gear one way or another and once you're at maximum item level, you're meant to be OP. The lofty days of week one when heroic dungeons actually felt kinda hard and LFR bosses would at least get to do one mechanic before dying are long gone. Everything just dies in seconds and every group just zergs to the end.

And that's... alright, I guess? I'm not here for the challenge so I don't mind getting a free carry towards some rewards. But I have been questioning my purpose with this game mode a bit. I don't care about using my bronze to upgrade my gear as it's only really useful in the extreme short term anyway (as is often the case in WoW) and to get all the transmogs and mounts you'd need something like over a million bronze, which is a lot. I honestly don't even feel like I need all of these cosmetics anyway, but since I'm unclear on just what my goals are, the sheer number of things I could miss out on is still daunting somehow.

In the usual way of retail WoW, they make it very easy to get a quick dopamine hit from a reward that only takes minutes to earn, but you're then meant to repeat that process hundreds of times during a specific time window, which is the point where I usually nope out. The rush of quickly levelling an alt can be fun for a while, but again... to what purpose? I have no particular interest in having a stable of alts at the level cap "just because". It'll just mean that I'll have fewer character slots available to level alts through other content later.

The only thing I know for sure is that I'll want to keep completing content with our first levelling duo, in order to polish off most of the questing for our nostalgia tour, and that I'll probably want to level at least a couple of alts for a different gameplay experience. Being a healer quickly started to feel pointless with all the self-healing that characters do in Remix, and on the rare occasion where healing could still be useful it doesn't scale well with the mode's massive stamina numbers, meaning that my biggest heal fills five percent of a tank's health bar at most, which is effectively useless. It's all just a little bit crazy and I suspect not entirely in the way Blizzard intended.


  1. I've used the event to level a Horde mage, mostly because I mostly have Alliance characters. Revisiting the other side made the leveling fresher since I had forgotten what the quests were like. The fun of leveling was a nice bonus. Being crazy overpowered (at times) was a enjoyable change of pace to Wow's typical leveling.

    I've collected the few toys I didn't already have and all, but one (currently), of the event and world boss mounts. Just getting the world boss mounts in a deterministic way was well worth the modest time involved.

    I don't intend on chasing after the Tusks of Mannoroth from farming Garrosh for that special currency. I can still do that on normal Retail as I feel like it. I'd like the shoulders as a checkbox item, but I'm not enamored enough with the looks of them to want to go wild raiding in Remix for them. Heck, I haven't even done all the normals to get the neck piece.

    All told it has been a successful event for me. Here's to Blizzard playing around with more time-limited events even if I participate in them or not.

    1. Levelling a Horde character is something I thought about as that's one part of the game I've never actually seen. I guess there is still quite a lot of time left to figure things out. Do you feel like you've already achieved everything you wanted after two weeks?

    2. Pretty much, but then I've really enjoyed Remix. Basically, I'm closer to your husband in my play time in that I've probably gone overboard in how much I've played. ^_^ (It has also been something to divert myself with given some family IRL health issues that have since gotten better.)

      Since I've been pruning alts I don't feel like leveling more of them, even just to unlock the various heritage armor sets. It would feel bad to level a character only to delete it once Remix finished. I'd rather just get the things I most wanted and let the rest of the stuff just go by. Plus, if (when, more likely) the Panda Remix comes back I could always then grab anything else that interested me.

    3. To follow up, my collecting bug hasn't been about appearances for some time now. Well, at least in Wow that is. I'm so spoiled by the system Swtor has that Wow's transmog system feels so limited and unnecessarily constrained that I tend to just pick a single look for my Wow characters and leave it as is. So right there is a large swath of Remix that hasn't motivated me to collect anything. (I also tend not to be enamored of any of the MoP looks.)

  2. With the insane amount of self-healing that goes on in Remix [I'm trying to no longer actively slot Leech items or gems and my DH is still near 30% courtesy of her cloak and innate 10 (+3, kinda)% Leech], it feels like healers are being taken for two things: a battle-rez if they have one and the Righteous Frenzy tinker gem.

    The concept of taking a healer because they can provide a haste buff by damaging other players through healing is... certainly something...